Kathryn Church

BA (Hons.), MA, PhD
Director and Associate Professor
School of Disability Studies | Ryerson University


Kathryn Church is second-term Director and Associate Professor in the School of Disability Studies. Her involvement as a Mad movement ally dates back 30 years to the first formations of “consumer participation” and the use of psychiatric survivor narratives in/against mental health policy formation. She is the author of Forbidden Narratives: Critical Autobiography as Social Science“, and co-editor of Learning Through Community: Exploring Participatory Practices. As a community-based researcher, she authored a dozen plain-text documents on psychiatric survivor-led social enterprises, consulted to the documentary film Working Like Crazy and was instrumental in its international distribution.  A sociologist by training, Kathryn uses cultural forms –most recently public exhibits — to link social science inquiry to public education. Working with her dressmaker mother, she curated the exhibit Fabrications: Stitching Ourselves Together, and was co-curator for Out from Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember — now in the permanent collection of the Canadian Human Rights Museum.

Research Projects




>> VIEW ALL of Kathryn Church’s research projects.

Selected Publications

  • Landry, D. & Church, K. (in press). Teaching (like) crazy in a mad positive school: Exploring the charms of recursion. In Russo, J. & Sweeney, A. (eds) Searching for a Rose Garden: Fostering Real Alternatives to Psychiatry. Monmouth, UK: PCCS Books.
  • Church, K.  (2015). “It’s complicated:” Blending disability and mad studies. In Spandler, H., Anderson, J., & Sapey, B. (eds.) Madness, Distress and the Politics of Disablement, UK: Policy Press, pages
  • Frazee, C., Church, K. & Panitch, M. (in press). Fixing: The claiming and reclaiming of disability history. In C. Kelly & M. Orsini (eds.) Mobilizing Metaphor: Art, Culture and Disability Activism in Canada. UBC Press.
  • Church, K. (In press). My dinners with Tara and Nancy: Feminist conversations on teaching for professional practice. In L. Cooper, J. Gingras, & J. Waddell (eds.) Teaching as Scholarship. University of Western Ontario Press.
  • Costa, L., Voronka, J., Landry, D., Reid, J., McFarlane, B., Reville, D., Church, K. (2012). Recovering our Stories: A small act of resistance. Studies in Social Justice, Autumn, 6 (1), 86-101.